February 9, 2009
A gloss to Locating the Literary in New Media
Indeed, the technology of the telegraph and its institutions are with us today, though no longer under Western Union’s name, which suspended the service indefinitely in 2006. Today, there are a handful of companies that will do you a telegram (some arriving after Western Union’s departure), to some extent revisioning its role as a priority messaging system with a touch of old world charm. (In New Zealand, business clients can have a courier-delivered telegram for the primary purpose of debt recovery). These services are arguably vestigial, banking off nostalgia more than anything else. But from the background, as the essay suggests, they persist in shaping practices.